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Comment: Re:Ridiculous (Score 1) 363

by dgatwood (#48193495) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

It's still perfectly legal to want the President dead. You just can't say you want it to happen. Speaking isn't a thought, it's an action.

Actually, you can legally say that you want it to happen, at least based on my understanding of the law in question. Where it becomes a crime is when there is both an expressed desire to actually cause that harm (or a call for others to do so) and a reasonable expectation that it might be feasible for you (or those others) to do so in the manner suggested.

Here are a couple of examples that illustrate the difference:

  • Lack of intent: In theory, you could legally say that you wish the President would get beaten to death by a gang dressed in clown suits while smoking bananas and drinking cheap beer. If you did so, such a statement would not be committing a crime, because wanting someone to die is not the same thing as threatening to kill someone.

    With that said, if someone actually expressed such an interest, the Secret Service would take a very close interest in that person's background, looking to see if (for example) he or she had ever bought a clown costume, bananas, or cheap beer.

    Additionally, it should be noted that if you then went on to say, "And if I ever get the chance, I'll be part of that gang," then you would almost certainly go to prison, because that statement of personal intent would cross the legal threshold for being a threat. Similarly, if you asked others to harm the President, or said things that appeared to advocate the assassination of the President, that would also be considered a true threat.

  • Implausible means: Most people could legally say that they want to hit the President with a giant meteor from space without committing a crime, because to the best of my knowledge, even our best scientists have no real means of making a meteor fall on the White House, much less some random person who has never had any affiliation with any space program whatsoever. With that said, if you are affiliated with NASA, such a statement might be seen as a threat. Maybe.

Additionally, the following conditions must all be met before something is considered a threat:

  • The threat must be made intentionally, not accidentally.
  • The context and manner of the threat must be such that a reasonable person overhearing it would assume that it was an actual expression of intent to harm the President. (For example, snarky comments at a political rally or in a stand-up comedy routine are not likely to be seen as legitimate threats.)
  • The threat must not be made under duress, and must not be forced.

Of course, you can easily get into grey areas, and if you do, even if you don't get jail time for it, you'll probably get a lot more scrutiny than you'd like.

Finally, I'd like to add that IANAL, and this post should not be taken as legal advice.

Comment: I don't understand the hatred (Score 1) 41

by msobkow (#48193427) Attached to: Rumor: Lenovo In Talks To Buy BlackBerry

I don't understand the hatred. All I can think is that it's anti-Chinese bigotry.

I've had ZERO problems with my Lenovo laptop, and it is one of the cheapest i7 models they make. It's a year and a half old at this point.

The HP I used to have, on the other hand, was a total lemon. Within six months the wifi blew out so the motherboard blew out. Nine months later it blew out again but was no longer under warranty, so it had no wifi. By 18 months old, the hard drive had failed.

No matter what brand you buy, the odds are it's "Made in China" from the cheapest parts the vendor could source. So who cares whether the brand is Chinese, European, UK, Canadian, Australian, African, or American owned save for racist bigots?

Comment: Re:Moral Imperialism (Score 1) 363

by dgatwood (#48193287) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

What society finds acceptable is irrelevant; even if they find it unacceptable, that does not mean it should be illegal.

This. The gold standard for legality is that something should be legal unless it harms someone else—as Justice Holmes put it, "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Society's values are, or at least should be, utterly irrelevant in determining whether something should or should not be legal, except perhaps in defining what constitutes another person, and in defining what constitutes harm.

Then again, I'm half expecting somebody to deliberately twist that and say, "But manga characters are people, too...." And this, I fear, will be the first sign that all hope for humanity is lost....

Comment: Re:Boston (Score 1) 73

I live in an apartment complex outside of Boston. FIOS is already wired down the street I live on. When I asked Verizon about FIOS, they told me that in order to offer it in my building, the building owners would have to pay to wire it and they'd have to get half the units in the building to sign up ahead of time.

Needless to say, I'm still on Comcast.

Comment: Re:Where is the list? (Score 2) 73

Right here, the list is located on the side of that page. I have JavaScript disabled as well, but I still found it in the menu at the top of each page.

Anyway, the full list:

Ammon, ID
Auburn, IN
Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Centennial, CO
Champaign, IL
Chattanooga, TN
Clarksville, TN
Jackson, TN
Kansas City, KS
Kansas City, MO
Lafayette, LA
Leverett, MA
Louisville, KY
Montrose, CO
Morristown, TN
Mount Vernon, WA
Palo Alto, CA
Ponca City, OK
Portland, OR
Raleigh, NC
Rockport, ME
San Antonio, TX
Sandy, OR
Santa Cruz County, CA
Santa Monica, CA
South Portland, ME
Urbana, IL
Westminster, MD
Wilson, NC
Winthrop, MN

Comment: Re:Bruce, I know why u r disappointed. Let me expl (Score 1) 179

So, I see this as rationalization.

The fact is, you took a leadership position, and later turned your coat for reasons that perhaps made sense to you. But they don't really make sense to anyone else. So, yes, everyone who supported you then is going to feel burned.

You also made yourself a paid voice that was often hostile to Free Software, all the way back to the SCO issue. Anyone could have told you that was bound to be a losing side and you would be forever tarred with their brush.

So nobody is going to believe you had any reason but cash, whatever rationalization you cook up after the fact. So, the bottom line is that you joined a list of people who we're never going to be able to trust or put the slightest amount of credibility in.

And ultimately it was for nothing. I've consistently tried to take the high road and it's led to a pretty good income, I would hazard a guess better than yours, not just being able to feel good about myself.

Your code should be more efficient!

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